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Topic: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

  1. #1

    BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    I give you the ever popular 1st movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2:

    MP3: http://www.box.net/shared/bsh60z2lnn

    Wave: http://mbf.cc/6akc

    This is made with all GPO3 instruments, other than the recorder for which I have used Marcelo Colina's highly recommendable and generously donated recorder samples (I don't have the World library or GPO4 yet).

    There are a few musical and technical issues I'm particularly aware of, but it might be nice to get some independent views and feedback before revisiting the piece in case there are any points I've missed.

  2. #2

    Re: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    Nice undertaking. Not perfect, but I enjoyed it. It's a lovely piece of music, so vibrant and full of Bach's genius, and you generally captured it well. The downsides of the rendering that could be improved (to me at least) were:
    - long fast trills sound too mechanical: you could try to make them speed up in the beginning and slow down towards the end.
    - phrasing: put some short rests between phrases
    - staccato strings sound repetitive: try layering (softly) alternating short bows
    - reverb: just fine, it helps smoothing out the sound (I'm putting it here because I'm sure not everyone is going to like it).

  3. #3

    Re: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    Thanks for listening, Theo.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the imperfections.

    I hadn't actually picked up on any of the points you mentioned, so that just proves the importance of an independent audition by a discerning listener.

    While I realise that most people here are rightly focussed on orignal compositions and arrangements, I have struggled a little to get my own arrangements to a satisfactory standard of rendering to make them listenable and ready to share, so I decided to focus just on rendering existing pieces to learn those skills separately first. I hope people will bear with me while I do that ... constructive feedback like yours is invaluable.

    Bach's genius really shone for me in this work of his ... I tried humanizing some of the parts ever so slightly but it just began to sound very sloppy and wrong ... so it is only due to his genius in composition and arrangement that a piece can be played so mechanically throughout like this (it is fully quantized) and yet still be enjoyable. I wonder if that is why much of his work adapts to the synthesizer so well?

  4. #4

    Re: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    "Humanizing" Bach is a tricky thing. The notes move so quickly and often the pulse of the piece is based on a combination rhythms in different lines, e.g. they alternate or one line plays 8ths in the first part of each bar, and the bass only on the last count. Things like that. You can only humanize it properly by thinking as a director and playing each line accordingly, something that's very difficult. I think slowing down a little bit in a few places, and then picking up again, is enough for this piece.

    Good luck!

  5. #5

    Re: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    The Brandenburg concertos are perpetual favorites of mine,
    Peter -- thank you for a fine rendition... very well done.

    I differ with the tempi, of course: but I differ with the tempi
    on every performance I've ever heard, so you can ignore that.

    The one element I might suggest for more consideration might
    be greater use of dynamic contrasts, sectionally and in dialogs.
    In a sense, virtually all Bach compositions are conversations;
    and the enhancement of that aspect of them further illuminates
    their brilliance.

    Much enjoyed!


    David Sosnowski

  6. #6

    Re: BWV 1047.1 (GPO3 + MC à bec)

    Thanks, David.

    There seem to be wide variation in choice of tempo for this piece in particular, but I chose something middle of the road to balance the inherent liveliness of the piece and the chance to let each instrument shine to its best.

    But I agree that as a Concerto Grosso, there isn't enough contrast between the full ensemble playing and the smaller groups in my rendition, so I'll certainly aim to improve on that when I revisit the piece after a break on other projects.

    Who knows ... maybe I'll tweak the tempo too and see if I can find another one that you differ with?

    Glad you enjoyed it anyway, and thanks for the insight!


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